UNC will require a new general education curriculum known as IDEAs in Action for incoming first-years and transfer students who enroll in fall 2022. The curriculum will help students design their own educational journey at the University.
The IDEAs acronym emphasizes that students identify pressing questions and problems, discover ideas, evidence and methods that inform these questions, evaluate those ideas and act on the basis of these evaluations.
The new curriculum will require students to take First-Year Foundations courses that are designed to help students navigate through the transition to the college environment.
One of these courses is "Interdisciplinary Studies 101: College Thriving." The course's goal is to empower students to participate in the opportunities at a research university.
“I think that the 'College Thriving' course is really going to be a game-changer," Nick Siedentop, curriculum director for the Office of the Undergraduate Curricula, said "I think, for students, that they're all going to have that type of experience in a small classroom, where they're really learning about how to be a successful student and getting the skills necessary to be successful in the classroom."
As part of the new First-Year Foundations component, students will take a three-credit hour first-year seminar or first-year launch course, along with a four-credit hour Triple-I course involving data literacy for the Ideas, Information and Inquiry curriculum.
“The Triple-I program is one of the key components of the new curriculum, and it's a requirement for all incoming first-year students," Cary Levine, associate dean and director of the Triple-I program, said. "These are special large courses that bring together three faculty from different disciplines to teach a common topic."
Levine said he encourages students to never think one discipline is sufficient in approaching a particular problem.
“Courses like Triple-I courses, at the very least, remind students that no matter what discipline you choose, there are others out there that are thinking about the same topic, but from very different points of view and very different tools and very different methods,” Levine said.